Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Daal Paalak(Lentil and Spinach curry)

Daal Paalak with Phulkas
"Daal Roti khao...Prabhu ke gun gao....".
Thus goes a Hindi film song of the seventies. This song has reality and it depicts the need of the average Indian to satiate hunger. Daal Roti is the staple food of Indians, especially living in the North.

Lentils play an important role in Indian cooking. Tuvar daal, Moong daal and Chana daal are popular while Masoor daal, Chowli(String Beans) and Rajma are also cooked to make excellent daal curries. A mixture of two or three daals is ofter seen in Maa Ki Daal or Daal Makhani.

This Daal Paalak is a healthy alternative to many other kinds of daal curries. It has the proteinfrom Moong Daal, Vitamins from Paalak and digestive/neutralising substances through Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric powder, Cumin seeds and Asafotoeda. Slight tanginess is achieved with a squeeze of lemon.

This can be eaten with plain steamed white rice, idlis, shevai, chapathis, rotis, phulkas and any Indian flat bread. Can also be consumed like soup.

Moong Daal - 1 cup
Paalak - A small bunch
Cumin seeds - 1/52 tsp
Asafotoeda - 2 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Ginger - 1" piece chopped
Garlic - 5-6 cloves peeled and chopped
Green chillies - 2-3 slit lengthwise
Salt - To taste
Oil or ghee - 1 tsp
Lemon - 1/2

Wash and cook daal with little salt, a pinch of asafotoeda, little turmeric powder and 2 cups of water.
Clean, wash and chop paalak.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
Add another pinch of asafotoeda, remaining turmeric powder, onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies.
Fry till the raw smell disappears.
Add the chopped paalak and fry.
Add the cooked daal with water and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer till paalak is cooked.
Squeeze as much lemon as you want.
Serve hot.

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